Monday, August 10, 2015

Checks for understanding

There are different ways that I check if my students understand what they are learning. Here is the list of my checks for understanding.

Exit Tickets - After my students watch a video on brainhoney I like to give them an exit ticket to see if they understood the activity. Sometimes I also use it as checks for understanding after students work in groups.
I don't just check if students understand the concept, but I also ask my students how well they focused in class and if they understood the learning target. You might wonder what CREST is, its an acronym for our school habits of mind. I modified this template from

Thumbs a meter - this a great quick way to see if my students understand what I am telling them. I ask students to show in front of their chest a thumb up, thumb sideways or thumb down. I usually use this after I give directions to see if students understand what they are suppose to do.

Fist to five - I use this to check students understanding of the learning target. I usually use fist to five check numerous times during the 45 minute class. I have a poster on my wall that I show to my students, totally stole the idea from pinterest.

Traffic Light - I use this after a hands on or group work activity. I give each student a sticky note and then ask them to complete one of the prompts based on the work they did in class that day.
Green - Today, I learned because...
Yellow - Today, I considered a question, an idea, or a new perspective...
Red - Today, my learning stopped because...
As they leave my room they post their sticky note on corresponding color of the poster that is on my door.

I came across this checks for understanding also while browsing pinterest, however after doing it for a year, I saw it in a video on teaching channel website. Here is the video:

3 - 2 - 1: I like to use this check for understanding after students watch a video. I ask them to write down 3 things that they learned, 2 vocabulary terms and their definitions, and 1 question that they had after watching the video. I have seen so many different variation of this check for understanding. You can have students define 3 vocabulary words, use 2 of them in a sentence, and 1 that still confuses them.

Socrative (Technology!!!):  Of course because we have technology I also use socrative. I like to ask questions on socrative after I do a mini lesson. Then we go over the results so I can clarify anything before students start working in their groups. This also helps me to see if I need to pull some students and work with them in a small group while others are watching a video or working in their groups. Sometimes its time consuming to create the quizzes on socrative, but I just came across a google sheet that has a shared quiz list. Check it out:

I am always open to trying new ways to asses my students, leave a comment with suggestions.


  1. I'm biased because I work for OpenEd, but try :-) Standards-aligned quizzes, and when they get something wrong, they're shown a video or game to help remediate the concept! Student results go to a mastery chart too, etc!

  2. Supper excited to try it out, thanks for sharing!!!